UA gym headed to Norman Regional

By: Tom Murphy
Published: Wednesday, March 23, 2022
Arkansas gymnastics coach Jordyn Wieber is shown during a timeout in the Razorbacks' 87-43 basketball victory over Missouri on Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022, in Fayetteville.
( Andy Shupe)
Arkansas gymnastics coach Jordyn Wieber is shown during a timeout in the Razorbacks' 87-43 basketball victory over Missouri on Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022, in Fayetteville.

FAYETTEVILLE — The No. 18 University of Arkansas gymnastics team won’t have to travel far for its NCAA regional competition next week.

The Razorbacks received a berth on Tuesday to the NCAA Norman Regional, where they will face top-seed and No. 1 Oklahoma, No. 16 Arizona State and a play-in opponent in the 7 p.m. session of the regional semifinal on March 31 at the Lloyd Noble Center. Arizona and West Virginia will compete on March 30 for the right to join the Razorbacks, Sooners and Sun Devils.

Arkansas Coach Jordyn Wieber said the coaching staff correctly projected they would be sent four hours away to Norman, Okla.

“It’s obviously easy travel,” Wieber said. “We don’t have to worry about going across the country, which I’m thrilled about.

“I definitely think we can put up a great competition against Arizona State and hopefully fight to make it to Day 2. Once you make it to Day 2, anything can happen.”

The afternoon session will consist of No. 8 Minnesota, No. 9 California, Boise State and Utah State, with the top two teams from each session advancing to the regional final on April 2. The top two teams from that meet and the other three regionals will qualify for the NCAA Championships in Fort Worth on April 14-16.

The other regional hosts are Auburn, North Carolina State and Washington.

The Razorbacks (8-14) are coming off a sixth-place finish at the SEC Championships, where their score of 196.45 was the third highest in program history at the meet.

Prior to that, Arkansas had beaten Denver, Nebraska and Oregon State in a quad meet in Denver.

“With all the issues we had at the beginning of the season it feels like we’re finally getting back in a rhythm and I think the team can feel that,” Wieber said.

“They have been really fired up and excited about what we’re doing. I have no doubt we’ll carry that enthusiasm into regionals and allow it to fuel the team and hopefully go out there and have a great Day 1 and qualify into Day 2.”

Oklahoma, which has won three of the last five NCAA championships, was the runner-up to Michigan last year.

Arkansas, making its 18th consecutive NCAA regional appearance, has advanced to the NCAA Championship eight times, the last in 2018, and has made the NCAA Super Six twice, in 2009 and 2012.

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